Ok, here’s the deal. I am a single mother who has been searching for a new position but I am in the middle area where I have too much education (have an Associates and 30 hours into my Bachelor’s). Up until 4 years ago, I was balancing School, Work, son’s activities, Sunday School Teacher and helping my grandmother when she needed to go to the doctor. Needless to say, When I finally made it to university, I would drive from home in Dallas to Arlington, 17 miles, then drive from Arlington to my job in Dallas which was another 25 miles away, not including the days, my son or I would get sick, he was Never deathly ill or anything, but highly susceptible to diseases. He had the Flu and Strep Throat at the same time, so, which were those resting days at home, so the next year, I quit volunteering to assist teaching Catechism but my son still went. I forgot to mention that I lost my financial aid at this point because I had missed so much school. My family is against me obtaining my Bachelor’s and would not help me with taking care of my son and not understanding why I was needing to do my homework or go to class. I couldn’t afford a sitter and if I had tried asking a friend for help, I would never hear the end of how this person or that is a child molester. He was about 10 at the time. About a month or so later, I lost my job. So the Trifecta hit. For three years, I have been searching for a job but have found that I am in this purgatory place of job seeker unsatisfaction. I am too qualified for low paying jobs and not qualified enough, because most jobs want a Bachelor’s degree. I need job or I need to create one. One of my passions is photography and I have actually been hired a few times for shoots but here is the problem. Although I know I can do the work, working even as an assistant I have the major problem of not having money to purchase the very costly equipment. Many photographer jobs that are available want you to already own a full frame camera and a few choice lenses. So again, I am stuck. I want to finish college. I want to buy my own home and car. I never seem to have had a decent paying job that would allow me to make it on my own, you know, be able to pay the bills, car, insurance or anything. I once held down two jobs and still brought home less than 1500 a month. When my son was first born, I did do real estate and was pretty successful as an apartment locator but since my son would get sick often, the majority of the money I made, would pretty much go to the doctors since he was under 5 then. This is the person I used to be until my son was born, I had a job, at an entertainment/dinner theater place legit, I don’t want to use the name, just as a cashier, and I worked very hard during until the day he was born. I actually would go to work at 8 am till 2:30 then come back by 4 pm til a little after midnight. Go home and start over again. I did this for 5-6 days a week until my 8th month, About 8.5 months, I was given better hours and had to do M-F 8-5, so much easier for me then. The only time, I ever called in sick at the time, was when my son was born and even then, I didn’t know I went into labor a month early. A week, to the day after he was born, I received a letter, giving me notice that I was fired. So, I went to work on obtaining my real estate license, again, certain members of my family would continuously berate me and harp on me for getting a job that had benefits, which I understood but, could not find, because I didn’t even have my associates then. For five years, I did this kind of work, then I had wanted to switch offices to what I thought would be a better location, the funny thing is, the better location had a very high turnover rate and which as a locator, these referral sources are what made you or broke you. I had no knowledge at the time what the location would be like. So I took on an additional part-time job as a telemarketer, while still working the real estate and trying to raise my son. He was so cute then, he still is. Very talented too. A true athlete. He never cared for cartoons as, usually any sport on television he could find.
I one day looked at him, realized I was working two jobs and still not making over $1,000 a month. That’s right, working over two jobs, rarely seeing my son and he seemed to be growing so much, he was about 4 or 5 then. Needless to say, I quit the now unsuccessful locator job and kept a part-time job. I thought I had landed on my feet when I finally got a job that was close to home and full time. Well, about 6 months later, I was let go 1 month before that business shut down after 60 years. Good times. So unemployed again, I made the decision to return to school, so I could earn a bachelor’s degree to find a job that would offer me some sort of benefits or at the very least insurance. Fast forward to now. I can’t go to school without financial aid. I had an almost job interview to do but had to turn it down because I realized at $11 an hour and nearly 36 miles away, that I would only make a $260 month, after spending that money on gas. My son would lose his insurance and I would too. I accomplished my associates, I finished half of my bachelors
I now live with my parents, my kid is 14, and I have yet to show him that I can provide for him. I know there’s the saying, if you work hard, you get what you need in life. I have yet to find that to be the case.
I actually find it, quite the opposite. I have worked since I turned 16 years old and the only time I was able to make near $2000-3000 a month was when I was a locator. I no longer have my license because of that industry has changed beyond compare. When I worked in it, I would make anywhere from $200-1200 on a one apartment rental, because the apartments were willing to pay 50-100 percent in commission. Now, they only want to pay 10-25 percent in commissions and sometimes that is only if you show a client. I have applied at Target, Walmart, and many other stores, filling out their online application to get the same letter, that I would not be a good fit because I am overqualified. I don’t see how. Since those last two jobs, I had found work, working for one of the colleges I went to but it was only temporary and the other as a CSR agent that did not help me to further my education. That is when I took my first Hiatus from a community college. When that temporary job ended, I went to three different community colleges while I was working on my associates so that I could have a schedule that fits mine and my sons’ needs. I finished my associate’s degree about six years ago. I am just tired of not hearing back from employers because of whatever reason. I continuously update my resume, enter online applications and cover letters but I don’t hear back.
Well fast forward again to 2015. I had taken a photojournalism course from an actual Pulitzer prize winner In that semester, I listened and soaked up everything he had said about photography. He never bragged about his Pulitzer, I happened to find out from another professor. My photography improved immensely after taking another photojournalism course at the community college.
I guess I should explain that, while I went to Junior College and the on to a University, it was the University that tripped me up most, as far as my education. There were very little courses to take online, which would have helped me immensely as far as traveling from south Dallas area to arlington and then to the north Dallas area. This is the time, I was working, going to college and my son had been in baseball about 3 years at that time. I am a single mother. The father has not been involved in my kid’s life. Well, one year for about 4 months he was involved and then he took off again.
As much as I want to finish my degree, I realize, I needed a career that has a very flexible work-life balance along with all of the benefits and pays a decent salary, you know enough so I can pay back student loans, provide a home, I want to have a house of our own. I never once, in my life, had a job that allowed me to make enough to pay for my own place, bills, and groceries. Not working one or two jobs. I’m a hard worker and have always been. this is why I need a break.
Because of this photography course, I had taken and practicing since and people who have asked me to take photos of them since where family and friends. They are professionally done but not professionally done.
I have attempted to find jobs as a second shooter or real estate or weddings, however, the main requirement these types of jobs to help save money, want you to already have the photography equipment. The expensive lenses that cost about $600 or so, a full frame camera that costs over$2000.
Of course, If I had the photography equipment, I wouldn’t need to apply or ask for help with these companies, I can do it. I just don’t have the right lenses. To rent some of these lenses can cost up to $50 a day. So here’s how I’m asking for help.
I want to build on my photography equipment. I don’t care if it is used but I do need it to work with Canon. I have a 60D camera but it is the lenses and lighting equipment I need help with the most. I know at some point, I will need to buy a full frame camera, those are like the Canon Mark V and above. I don’t want anything too old. I want to be more involved in Photography Clubs like AMSP or Professional Photographers Association but again, those run into $500 or so a year, maybe less but I am at my ropes end here but I still have hope that something will work out. I don’t qualify for a credit card or flex lease situation. I already tried. My student loan debts and the fact that I usually have about $100 a month aren’t helpful. So if you can help out in any way, I would be grateful, I know my son would be grateful. I will pass on the kindness one day. So thank you for your time. Have a great one!